MAJESTY OF REVIVAL "Dualism"
A few days without music can bring a torture to state of mind and I actually was starting to feel like a human again if you know what I mean. However, a fate brings an answer to the moments of peace quickly and strikes me with 76 minutes of Dualism. The third album from Ukrainian Majesty Of Revival. Most people know that there is unbelievable potential in this country and others like Russia, Latvia, Lithuania but on the other hand the only band I can recall out of Russia f.e. is Arkona. We`ll discover other bands soon but all that matters for now is MOR. I know for sure that Dualism has become an album challenge for me. I had to play it a couple of times until I was able to face and react to their music. Over an hour of power metal with many relevant hints to progressive metal need a little inner-effort to control what you can hear out of speakers. I would say it`s approx. 70% of what they do on the album and what remains sounds oh gosh-like heavy metal. Remind me a bit of Blind Guardian but I do not want to mislead you with this minor touch of heavy metal they have. For most time Dualism represents power and prog stuff like Symphony X, Max Pie and I like this path taken by Ukrainians. The band approach vocals with great devotion throughout the CD. A nicely involved keyboards are crucial to fulfill songs with extraordinary, advanced parts of guitarist. They perhaps need 1-2 more albums to get themselves to the level of Dream Theater and MOR have all attributes they need to make it happens at some point. I have met Majesty Of Revival name for first time and I got positive impression on this diverse and very interesting album.
MAJESTY OF REVIVAL "Dualism"
Purposely suspending band activities for one year to put forth the best studio recordings on this third full-length record Dualism, Ukraine’s Majesty of Revival are a quartet led by the guitar/vocal work of Dimitriy Pavolvskiy. Founder of the group seven years ago, the band certainly has been through a fair share of lineup changes (three bassists, three vocalists, and two keyboardists), probably due to the diverse progressive/neoclassical oriented metal style on hand. Delivering 14 tracks at a sprawling 71 minutes sends off alarms, as once again this may be creatively satisfying to the musician, but could be quite exhaustive if not dynamically different enough for the listeners. Given this scribe’s first foray into Majesty of Revival, there’s no denying right from the get go an obvious proclivity to virtuoso abilities on all fronts – neo-classical and progressive leanings that makes “Deadlock” an entertaining opener in Symphony X-like grandeur. Consciously deciding to take a no holds barred approach in terms of the songwriting allows for shades of gothic metal a la Paradise Lost/ Sentenced to appear on “Alive” while modern hard rock inflections come to the forefront on “Serenity” – but therein lies a possible long-term weakness as band identification can prove to be problematic. Where the band excels is the symphonic keyboard layers and equally engaging guitar riffing that backed by an energetic, controlled tempo minded rhythm section puts “Awaken” and the title track at memorable heights for power/progressive metal. Dimitriy as a vocalist sits in middle of the road land as far as delivery and range – not spectacular, and yet not diminishing the impact of the material on hand. He’s not going to ever be considered in a caliber of Russell Allen, Tony Kakko, or even James Labrie – the phrasing and melancholic nature to his voice more in line with say Ville Laihiala of the much missed Sentenced, as the aforementioned commercially viable “Alive” and stripped down closer “Same Blood” attest. Hate to come back to that ‘too long of a record’ argument for Dualism, but a little 20 % trim could have made for a stronger, 50-minute platter in the end. Majesty of Revival wrap exquisite musicianship in tight spots while always honing in on proper hooks and melody parts – as a result assuring itself varied appeal from the neo-classical, power, and progressive metal camps.
MAJESTY OF REVIVAL "Dualism"
One of the most important bands from the contemporary Ukrainian Metal scene returns with a full-bodied album that will definitely put you to dance, love, drink a beer and bang your head, if not all at the same time. If there’s one very special band that proudly raises the flag of Ukrainian Metal as high as the sun, always delivering amazing music to our ears with a high level of professionalism, commitment and dexterity, it’s Symphonic/Progressive Power Metal Majesty Of Revival, and in case you know nothing about them, I highly recommend you go after all their discography as it’s definitely worth a shot. And if you need more than just these few words to convince you of how good this band is, simply take a listen at their brand new album, entitled Dualism, and you’ll certainly get hooked on their melodious and electrifying music. Formed in the fall of 2009 by lead singer and guitarist Dimitriy Pavlovskiy in Uzghorod, a city located in western Ukraine, at the border with Slovakia and near the border with Hungary, Majesty Of Revival have already built a respectable career not only in their home country but also in important markets such as Japan, despite all the lineup changes since their inception. After releasing their debut EP Meaning of Life (2011), the full-length albums Through Reality (2012) and Iron Gods (2012) and another EP named Netherworld (2014), the band took a break from the outside world to focus on the studio work to give birth to Dualism, experimenting with different sounds and styles in order to provide their fans a unique experience in heavy music. An avalanche of groove and heaviness will hit you from the very first thunderous notes by bassist Tom Penzel in the opening track, titled Deadlock, where it’s interesting to note how Dimitriy can easily go from deep harsh growls to very melodic vocal lines, not to mention how progressive guitars and drums sound, helping to keep this 6-minute composition exciting in its entirety. More metallic and aggressive in spite of the smooth keyboards by Vladimir Yakubovskiy, Awaken brings forward a good balance between guttural vocals and piercing riffs with serene and progressive passages, an amazing tune that will certainly pump up the fans when played live; followed by the sensational and classy Van Halen-inspired Hard Rock chant Alive, with highlights to the precise drumming by Vasiliy Irzhak and to its lyrics about our struggles in life (“All the changes occur when you least expect / And you never know who’s in charge / They come after you, if you fight, then you shoot / Or then you escape – take the last parachute”). In Inner Dimension the band gets back to brutal and complex Power Metal, with the song’s background keyboards creating an amazing aura nicely complemented by the blazing riffs by Dimitriy, reminding me of old school Dream Theater (especially the guitar solos and all tempo changes). Then we have one of the heaviest of all tracks and consequently one of my favorites, the powerful Darkest, showcasing hints of Pantera in its riffs, an epic vibe led by the nonstop beats by Vasiliy, and lyrics as dark as the music demands (“Darkest fears disappearing with fading dreams / Full of griefs, thru the field of blackhearts / Forgotten truth has been replaced by lies / That destroyed belief for us all”); and Failure, where Rock N’ Roll and Heavy Metal are beautifully united once again. The bass guitar by Tom Penzel sounds like a hammer so heavy it is, adding tons of groove to the musicality and, therefore, turning it into a recommended choice for some good headbanging. The intro for the power ballad Days seems slightly inspired by Metallica’s classic “One”, suddenly turning into contemporary and progressive Heavy Metal with the symphonic elements in the background increasing the song’s liveliness as well as its soulful guitar solos, whereas Wolfheart feels like listening to Sonata Arctica, including the song’s name and lyrics (“You have the wolfheart / You should free it once / Through the whole pain you have to believe / Release your hopes from the darkest fears / Don’t deny thy destiny / You are the knight of your own life / Cherish thy braveness, honor and love / With the obeisance you have to fight – sword in your hands, high above / You have the wolfheart”). It’s a good composition with beautiful guitar lines and solos, but too smooth at times compared to the overall potency of the album. Tongue gets back to a Symphonic Power Metal vibe with modern elements of Alternative Metal added to it, all without losing its core essence and boosted the the harsh vocals by Dimitriy. In addition, pay good attention to the interesting battle between Dimitriy and Vladimir with their guitar and keyboard solos. And presenting a sonority similar to classic bands like Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica, the very traditional tune Perfection offers nonstop drums and epic vocal lines that will surely accelerate the beat of your heart. When the band slows down the crazy rhythm of ther music, we’re treated to a medieval power ballad named When the Night Embrace, with the passionate vocal performance by Dimitriy being flawlessly supported by the song’s inspiring atmosphere, becoming a perfect choice for singing along with the band during their live performances. The Hard Rock riffs by Dimitriy and the epic keyboards by Vladimir complement each other in the kick-ass metal tune Serenity, tailored for banging our heads nonstop while Vasiliy keeps hitting his drums as heavy as possible, not to mention the spot-on hints of Industrial Metal added to the vocal lines. As we get close to the end of Dualism, Majesty Of Revival fire the title-track Dualism, more progressive than most tracks of the album due to all its tempo changes and intricate beats and riffs. However, heaviness is still present in the musicality thanks to the deep growls by Dimitriy, feeling almost like a Metal Opera so imposing it is. And the Dream Theater-inspired ballad Same Blood closes the album on a high note, in special due to the superb keyboards by Vladimir and the song’s melancholic and gentle rhythm. The progressive and symphonic universe crafted by Majesty Of Revival can be better appreciated through their Facebook, VKontakte and YouTube, and the excellency of Dualism can be purchased through their BandCamp page (where you will find some interesting options including bonus tracks and combos with T-shirts), as well as on iTunes and on Amazon. Featuring a modern and fresh artwork by Tomi Fanta, which was probably inspired by the duality found in poker cards, Dualism will instantly put you to dance, love, drink a beer and bang your head, if not all at the same time. In other words, everything we search for in high-quality Heavy Metal music.
MAJESTY OF REVIVAL "Dualism"
This is the third full-length album by the famous Ukrainian band MAJESTY OF REVIVAL that were conceived in 2009. Here one can find on this long player, various influences from pop-rock to progressive occasional thrash metal, from gothic influences to symphonic power metal and folk coupled with catchy choruses. There is a mighty rhythm section, masterful guitar and keyboard lines, elegant arrangements and powerful vocals being melted into 14 cross-genre songs full of groovy riffs coupled with fresh and catchy melodies. I admit to being wary when I first put this cd on, but to be perfectly frank, it is rather good. Opener, the near 7 minute "Deadlock" is possibly one of the heavier more progressive cuts on the album, thumping guitar riffs and awesome synths that drive the track along. A complex start and a rather good start too. Next track "Awaken" possesses prog metal influences, while "Alive" is a more straight forward rocker with a melodic chorus and a great guitar solo to boot. So far so good and it continues with numbers like the progressive "Inner Dimension", the bouncy "Failure", the totally awesome and melodic rocking "Wolfheart" (a live favourite surely), the power ballad "When The Night Embrace" and the symphonic sounding "Serenity". This cd has been out for a few weeks now and I do rather like it, the band’s facebook is here, well recommended… 9/10 (Dave).
MAJESTY OF REVIVAL "Dualism"
The first time I took notice of Majesty of Revival was in 2013 when they released “Iron Gods” on the (meanwhile defunct) Power Prog label. This record has been an interesting piece of Power/Prog Metal with a wider range of influences which led to a challenging listening experience. The same can be said about their newest output “Dualism”. The main ingredients are still Power and Prog Metal with a lot of symphonic elements. However, one will also find Folk, neoclassical rhythms and even some more modern and slightly industrial influences here. There is no chance to dig everything on offer here in only one listening session. Fortunately the guys from Majesty of Revival are great songwriters. There are a lot of fantastic and memorable harmonies and refrains distributed all over the album that will stick with the listener. The base sound reminds of bands like Symphony X combining hefty riffs with a lot of atmospheric background samples and impressive instrumental skills. Some of the harmonies and choirs used on “Nothingness” bring Blind Guardian to mind. Just go and check out “Inner Dimension” and I am pretty sure you are going to agree. A lot of the tracks make use of piano parts and more or less each one has some orchestral pieces to offer. There is also a lot of soloing to be found here – provided not only by guitarist and vocalist DP but also by keyboarder Vladimir and even by bassist Tom. I have to admit that this can lead to a little overload for the average listener like myself. The production is great making every instrument and details perfectly audible. It is modern and punchy without sounding sterile. Taking into account how much is going on here I have to take off my hat to the sound engineer. DP has a fitting voice and while he might not be on par with some of his colleagues he delivers in great fashion putting a lot of emotions into the vocals. With 14 tracks and a running time of over 70 minutes a potential buyer gets a lot of value for the money. There can also be made an argument that a certain percentage of the songs could have been left out to create a more streamlined album without any filler material. On the other hand there is no really bad song but some outstanding ones so I am not going to hold this against the band. Each fan of melodic, symphonic and progressive Metal music should risk an ear or two.
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